The Dying of the Light

100 Human Paladin
t was springtime. The new foals with fuzzed ears and tiny little waved beards were cropping up like mushrooms in the lush pastures. This was Gentyl's favorite time of year. The new babies reminded her there is always a cycle. There was death and dying, but there was also life.

She squatted just inside one of the stalls and watched a pretty little dun horse colt struggle to his feet. His front legs were splayed so far apart it seemed impossible he would ever purchase a standing position, but he was no quitter and his hind legs finally pushed him upright. She watched him nuzzling around until he finally found the distended bag leaking blue milk. The old mare grunted when he bunted her, but she never moved away from her inconsiderate son.

Gentyl had brought the aging buckskin mare in to foal her out so they could help her if she had problems. It had been a long labor, but the old lady produced yet another perfect baby. It would be her last. She would go out to the pension pasture after they weaned this baby and live out her days.

Satisfied all was well here, Gentyl walked over to the corral with the two-year-olds they had gathered that morning. They were all halter broke and gentle, but it was time to start breaking them to ride. She picked up a handful of halters and slipped them over her shoulder. The horses milled about in a corner nervously, watching her like she was a starving wolf.

"Idiots. You know who I am."

They did, but it was spring and spirits were high. It was fun to look for excuses to run and buck. They got their excuse. A stray cat being chased by a stray dog being chased by a stray worgen ran through the colts who turned and ran over Gentyl. She had time to throw her left arm up to protect her head before one of the colts reared up and pawed her. She dropped to the ground, but had enough presence of mind to curl up in a ball before the rest of the bunch ran over her.

Someone saw her and ran over to the corral to pull her out before the horses made another round. She rolled over on her side and groaned. Yep, that arm was broken.

((i wrote this up before Finn got tagged by mal. however, he agreed it meshes perfectly with his feral adventure, so, i'm posting it here.))
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58 Human Paladin
Harmyone watched from a window in Mardenholde as Finnaeus was taken into the prison for containment. She barely spoke to him before, but she felt a slight twinge of guilt. It was for her that he went to Silvermoon for information, and while she didn’t quite understand what happened to him, she knew she was partly to blame.

She sighed. She no longer had room for tears and sadness. Mostly she was tired, drained of energy and will. What little energy she had was devoted to drifting through Hearthglen, her eyes barely taking in what she saw before moving on to something else. She rarely tried summoning the Light anymore, and at this point she convinced herself that it would never return. A few times she tried her sword skills with the Argents, hoping that a bit of swordplay would provoke the Light out of her. But it was of no use, and even the sword she fought with felt clumsy and unwieldy. She no longer tried training.

This was not the life she envisioned for herself, studying at the Abbey and listening to the tales of the righteous paladins wading into war, smiting evil with the Light and becoming beacons of justice. None of the stories ended with despair, suffering, tapped from the Light and unable to get it back. Even the Scarlet Crusade, perverted in their morals, still wielded the Light. Why not her? Why couldn’t she get it back?

Dark thoughts of revenge on the elf that did this to her came regularly. She fought the impulse as much as she could, but she couldn’t help it. She delighted in imagining running him through with a sword and watching the light in his eyes die out. The worst part was she often felt like he was in her head, laughing at her, watching what she did and whispering into her ear. It was like carrying him around in her head, an unwanted passenger hissing terrible things and mocking her every move. In her free time she idled in her room, away from her fellow guild mates. While she suspected her fellow Pia held noble intentions, their looks of pity only made things worse. She didn't even attempt to go into the Pia tower to avoid that very thing. But that left her alone, and she brooded on the dark elf, who was watching. Waiting.

Waiting for her to get a spark of the Naaru, something she had no idea how to do. While she overheard the mention of the Naaru in passing, her training at the Abbey never mentioned the beings. It was only really the Draenei that talked at length about them. How could he expect her to carry out such a task? Clearly he needed it for some malevolent intent, but even if she was willing to do what he required, how could she even begin to do it?

What she needed was more information. Certainly Mira, Meriste, or Belpha could answer some questions about the Naaru, being Draenei. Or any of the other scholars of the Light.

For the first time since she was taken, a small flicker of purpose lit inside her. Maybe it would lead to nothing, but she had questions that she wanted answers to, and it beat languishing in the Keep any day.
Edited by Harmyone on 5/11/2012 4:59 PM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Warlock
The perpetual night of Ashenvale always fascinated Malthaes. He stared up at the sky, ignoring the grunts and hisses of the person behind him. Between the branches of the trees he glimpsed the moon, slightly obscured by clouds. Malthaes grinned a bit and turned. The Night Elf druid squirmed, his arms bound by toxic green chains. Smoke came from where the chains touched the druid’s skin. The druid struggled, but couldn’t free himself.

“Elune,” Malthaes said, traces of humor and contempt in his voice. “Shining brightly down upon one of her chosen. And yet here you stand, bound and chained.”

The druid said nothing, leering at the warlock with malice. He looked to be trying to shapeshift, but the chains merely flared greener and burned him more.

“No shifting for you,” Malthaes said, approaching him. “Not until I’ve had a chance to obtain some information.”

“I’m not saying anything to you,” the druid spat back. Malthaes grinned.

“Who said anything about talking?” he asked. He held up his hand, and a beam of shadow connected from the warlock to the druid. The druid’s body seized, shaking. Malthaes tilted his head back, siphoning the druid’s energies and memories. He probed deeper, pulsing more shadow magic into the druid, until finally he reached what he was looking for. An image of an ethereal plane, bathed in the hue of green energies and untouched wilds – this was the Emerald Dream. This was the information Malthaes was looking for.

Malthaes lingered in the druid’s memories, and then broke off the connection. The druid wheezed, trying to catch his breath.

“You’ve been very compliant,” Malthaes said, his brain still buzzing from the Fel magic. “And very informative.”

“You cannot enter the Emerald Dream,” the druid said between breaths.

“On the contrary,” Malthaes said pleasantly. “I’m quite confident that, with enough power and research, I can ply my way through.”

“They’ll stop you before you destroy anything,” the druid said back.

“Oh, but I’m not going to destroy anything,” Malthaes said. “I’m merely going to collect a few samples. For research. I’m sure you’d understand.”

“Samples of what?”

“Oh I think you know,” Malthaes said, getting closer to the druid. “For a sample of that which keeps you afraid of sleeping at night. That which you have contained, but can’t destroy. The kind of power that drives the powerful Green Dragonflight into shadowed, monstrous aberrations of their purpose.”

“No,” the druid breathed. “You cannot wield it. No one can wield it. You cannot take the Nightmare into the waking world.”

“I certainly can,” Malthaes said, his voice lowered into a malevolent hiss. “And I will. No power will be denied to me by the likes of you. A pitiful shadow of what was once a proud nation of Elves. Hiding in perpetual night, plying the likes of the Alliance for assistance because you cannot stand against the might of the Horde. You’re a disgrace.”

“And what of you, sucking your magic from demons,” the druid said back. “Just as pathetic. If not worse. Your entire people are leeches on this world.”

Malthaes smoothed his robes.

“I have tamed the demonic. I have tamed the arcane. Because I have the strength and fortitude to do so without wilting. My people may not be the paragons of strength and magic as they once were, but I will make them. The Blood Elves are resilient. And once I give them real power, you and your impotent Alliance will be unable to stand against us.”

Malthaes leaned forward, his face so very close to the druids.

“Worship Elune. Pray to her. Pray to her while your skin bubbles and your insides cook. Scream out for her to save you when your own blood boils in your body. When your bones fall to ash. Maybe then you will see how foolish it is to rely on others, to pray to a greater power, when you can simply grab and become that power.”

With a sneer and a flash, the druid’s body alit with green flames. Malthaes turned away, the elf’s screams carrying into the Ashenvale night. He looked back up at the moon, smoke from the burning flesh wafting into his vision. An offering to the gods, Malthaes mused. Too bad they are not listening.
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100 Draenei Hunter
((Harmyone -

I'm taking off for a few days to visit a friend, but I felt like I needed to say this first. I would be honored to have Meriste talk to Harmyone about not only the Naaru, but a great many other things. I feel that this story has resonated well with Meriste's own background. While Meriste has the same great reverence for the Light and the Naaru that most Draenei share, she is not capable of calling on the blessings of the Light on a whim. In the past, she has only been able to draw upon the Light in times of great need or in situations with people that she deeply cares for, and her skill pales in comparison to others'. Whether her abilities lie locked in reserve or are largely inaccessible, I have not decided, but she could certainly talk to Harmyone about what it means to live with the blessings of the Light while learning to rely on your own natural strengths and weaknesses. I feel that interaction between the two characters could lead to a great deal of growth for each. I look forward to further developments in the story and hope to get the chance to speak to you when I return.

~ Meriste's co-pilot ))
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85 Blood Elf Warlock
The target was Seradane.

It made sense, given the locations of the other Emerald portals. Four locations Malthaes extracted from the druid’s memory. The first, in Duskwood, would be too close to Stormwind and the meddlesome influence of Orwyn and his Watch. It seemed tempting to start his ritual there, right in the face of the Alliance, but he couldn’t risk failure. The portal in Feralas, likewise, stood too close to the massing armies of the Night Elves. The portal in Ashenvale seemed promising, but the bevy of war efforts between the Horde and Alliance made the area too volatile. That left Seradane.

It was perfect. Isolated, far from any major cities save Aerie Peak, the portal in the Hinterlands proved to be the best option. Relatively unpopulated, close to Undercity or Silvermoon should he need to seek coverage if the Alliance pressed him – it would have to do.

Malthaes glanced up at the stone ramp towards the dormant portal. He heard tell of dragons that emerged, insane from the madness of the Nightmare, empowered with vile magic. Even though that time had long passed, he could still feel the presence of potent magics mixed with the eerie calm of the Seradane woods. He breathed in, smelling the fresh air that wafted through the trees. He could sense it still, like the perfume of a woman who had long left a room.

With slow, precise movements, Malthaes began to draw runes in the grass. They hissed with volatility, the grass dying as he moved his fingers, chanting. It would take exceptionally strong magic to reactivate the portal, particularly since he would not be using druid magic. Rather than using the key to unlock the door, Malthaes would be barging into it. It was possible to do, but extremely dangerous and without the guarantee of success. But that did not sway him. Lofty goals required great risk.

Two runes flanked the right and left sides of the stone ramp, with the largest rune right in the middle of the two. Malthaes stood in the center of this rune, feeling fel power coursing from his feet all the way to his fingers, his eyes. He could taste it. He began to chant, curling his fingers, the buzz of magic rippling through his skin. To his left, the rune turned a malevolent purple shade. Directly above the rune a cloud of Void formed, swirling and crackling with power. To his right, the rune snapped and sizzled, a brilliant shade of green. A ball of fel fire swirled mid-air, turning in on itself and then expanding outwards. Malthaes turned his eyes towards the portal. It was time.

“It is time,” he breathed, and then he uttered a phrase in demonic. A beam of shadow erupted from the shadow rune, and a bolt of fel flame erupted from the fire rune. The two beams struck Malthaes, surrounding him in a chaotic aura of flame and shadow. He turned his eyes, power coursing through him, and he held out his hand towards the portal. With a shout in demonic, a beam comprised the two magics erupted from his fingers and struck the portal. The land itself shuttered, sparks exploded from where the magic touched the portal. Malthaes felt an enormous resistance from the portal, threatening to force him off of his rune. That would be disastrous – only the rune kept his body intact while he wielded so much. He grit his teeth, gathering his mind, his feet sliding off the rune.

“I will not be denied,” Malthaes hissed, and he poured more energy into his beam. The stone around the portal cracked with the effort. A popping sound, and the portal began to glow. Sensing victory, Malthaes chanted louder, the magic coursing through him and into the portal. The power sources to his right and left crackled, becoming unstable as they grew. Balls of flame erupted from the flame rune, shooting into the air and engulfing some of the nearby trees in flame. The void rune pulsed, killing the grass around it. His body quivered, still sliding off of the rune. Any minute it would be too late.

But then he saw it – the portal sparked to life, swirling with the natural energies of the Dream. Malthaes stopped the chant, falling to his knees to regroup himself. The runes to the right and left of him hissed and fell dormant. A fire blazed, the trees crackling with flames. Plumes of smoke billowed into the air. That might draw some attention, but Malthaes would worry about it later. He needed to enter before and leave before the portal closed.

Standing up, drained but now filled with eager anticipation, Malthaes strode up the stone ramp towards the Emerald Dream. Just beyond the entrance way he could see a verdant field. Somewhere in there was the Nightmare.

“One step closer,” Malthaes said. He strode through the portal and stepped into the Emerald Dream.
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100 Human Rogue
Tree...Tree...Tree...Fire...Tree...Tr...wait what? Blinking slightly in surprise the rogue-become-stonedragon rolled off of his back pausing a moment to untangle his wings before creeping over to the edge of his tower perch.

Fel Fire here?

That didn't bode well at ALL. Grabbing his stone without ever taking his eyes off of the smoking near the portal he hissed quietly. "Terrans, if you can fight and arn't busy or even are...Get to Saradane. Now."

(Scuttles off oocly to actually...wait for people to exist!
Edited by Kordrion on 3/10/2012 11:20 AM PST
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85 Blood Elf Warlock
When Malthaes took his first steps into the Emerald Dream, he realized quickly that he would had no idea where the Nightmare would be. From the information he drained from the druid, he knew that Malfurion Stormrage sealed off the last remains of the Nightmare in the Rift of Aln, where its power would not be banished even by the most powerful druid in Azeroth. But the druid did not know the location of the rift, and the Emerald Dream was vast, an expanse of unblemished land that stretched as far as Azeroth itself.

And it would be impossible to remain undetected for long. The Dream was Azeroth unblemished, and it would be nigh impossible for a warlock such as him to sneak about without being traced. He would have to move, and move quickly, in order to get in or out. That he invaded the land in his physical form would only exacerbate any encounters he had with the Dream’s protectors.

Fortunately, the Dream defied the laws of the physical world. When he pierced the mind of the druid, he saw memories of the druid incredibly fast, sometimes through physical objects. And so Malthaes, armed with this knowledge, ran through the verdant fields with incredible speed. He watched, in awe, as the perfectly lush fields and forests passed through his view in a haze of lazy green. Warlock or not, he had to appreciate the beauty of the Dream. Perhaps, once his mission was complete, he could come back at a later time and truly examine the land. But such idle causes were for less busy times, and time was something Malthaes could not waste.

As it happened, Malthaes needn’t have feared for how he would find the Rift. Not long into his travels he felt a kind of certainty, a sensation close to instinct and yet not quite. He couldn’t describe nor explain it, but it was as if he knew where the Rift was even though he had no way of knowing. Images passed into his mind, places in the Dream that should by all accounts have looked foreign to him, and yet he recognized them. It was as if something was showing him the way.

Malthaes grinned, the wilderness passing by him with incredible speed.
How much time had passed since Malthaes stepped through the portal, he did not know.
This was not entirely unexpected – time had no meaning in the Dream, and when he finally stepped back out through the portal he expected that hardly any time would pass. But it was still an odd sensation, losing one’s place in time as he travelled.

He faced little resistance as he travelled. There were a few close encounters with a few of the Green Dragonflight, but he moved through so quickly, altering nothing as he did. He was sure it was only a matter of time before someone or something sensed the Fel energies in his body, but he spared little thought to it. He simply moved forward, grateful for no interruptions.

When he finally reached the Rift of Aln, sealed off by Malfurion Stormrage’s enchantments, he had the impending sense of victory. The Archdruid’s powers were strong, perhaps some of the strongest of anyone in Azeroth. But even with the wards, Malthaes could feel the presence of the Nightmare. It whispered, from beneath the soil, in the very air. It was a different sort of magic than Fel. It was like anything Malthaes had ever wielded. It was older, more sinister, and infinite in its possibilities. Despite himself, he shuddered, a shiver racing down his spine.
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85 Blood Elf Warlock
He could not risk attempting to unmake Malfurion’s barrier – that would be a foolish undertaking, one that even he would not attempt. Rather, he could drain what remained in the nearby. Traces of it, once gathered, could be potent enough for his purpose. He unpacked two crystal jars from his pack, each one glittering with active, potent runes. They would have to be powerful. The Nightmare would not suffer to be in these jars long.

It was a slow process, using his magics to pierce the soil. He was violating the Emerald Dream, a violation he did not presume to go unnoticed if he took too long. But he could feel it, deep in the earth, the precious bits of energy seeping from the Rift. As he drained, he could feel his own power sapping, his body growing tired and weak. But the effort was worth the reward – he could see the crystal jars filling with a cloud of black energy. Images filled his head, images of him wielding this power and achieving great victories, of conquering his enemies. It occurred to him that perhaps the Nightmare led him to this spot, knowing of his intentions. He filled the first jar, and then the second, before he could no longer sustain the process. He sealed them, placing both jars in his pack. He felt satisfied, but then –

You can take more. You are strong. You deserve it. Take more.

The thought came to him, as if sprung from his own mind and yet at the same time completely alien to him. The idea intoxicated him – again he saw himself rising in grandeur, wielding the Nightmare and driving it into Stormwind, that city of traitors, or the Exodar, eliminating the arrogant, meddling Draenei once and for all.

Do not let the limitations of others curb your ambitions. Your potential is limitless if you would take what you seek. What you deserve.

Malthaes licked his lips, turning his eye towards the skies. Perhaps he could drain more…perhaps he could shatter the wards that Malfurion put up and take as much as he needed. After all, he was Sin’dorei, and no druid would overpower his magic.

Do it.

Malthaes lifted a hand, drawing his might, and –

A shudder went through him, and he realized it was his imp, Piztal, outside the Dream. Connected by their bond, he was sending a message: there was trouble on the outside of the portal. Malthaes cursed, lowered his hands, and set off away from the Rift. But distance did not separate himself from the whispers.

Do not let them take what is yours.

“I won’t,” Malthaes muttered, speeding through the Dream, hurtling headlong towards the portal in Seradane, and whatever trouble lay on the other side.

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100 Human Rogue
(Wheee...awesome post Finn :) heh, I got told you were hunting me as apparently...I logged on right after you logged off ><
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85 Blood Elf Warlock
Malthaes stepped through the portal, catching a scent of the Hinterlands breeze and the acrid smell of burning trees. Almost immediately through he saw them, approaching the stone ramp. Alliance.

He looked down at his imp, Piztal, who chattered with anticipation. He needed to get his jars of Nightmare to safety, but he could not trust the imp with both jars. Though sealed with the arcane, he was sure that, given the influence the Nightmare had on himself, the imp would be overpowered by handling both jars. In a flash he took one out, handed it to the imp, and leered at him.

“Get this to the Sanctum and get back here. I’ll hold them off.”

The imp chattered and, with a crack, took off through the Nether.

Malthaes turned and saw the portal to the Emerald Dream fade, and then become inactive. He would have no easy escape. He faced the two Alliance walking up the steps, a paladin girl and what looked like someone in the form of a Stone Drake. He raised his eyebrow, and hitched a grin on his face.

“What are you doing here?” the Stone Drake said to him in Orcish.

“Do not use the language of the Horde,” Malthaes retorted in Common.

“Fine,” the Drake responded, resorting to Common. “What are you doing here?”

“None of your business,” Malthaes said smoothly, watching the Drake and paladin girl advance on him. There was something familiar about the girl, something he couldn’t quite place.

“What were you doing in there? You ain’t supposed to be in there,” the girl said, nodding to the Emerald portal.

“And what would you know of who is supposed to be in there?” Malthaes said. “Do not tell me where I am and am not supposed to go.”

They advanced on him. He curled his hands, wreathing them in flame.

“No closer now,” he said.

“Then tell me what you’re doing here,” the Drake said back. Irritated, Malthaes turned his gaze to it.

“I grow tired of you commanding me,” Malthaes said.

A noise issued from the Drake’s hearthstone, and, distracted, lowered his head to the noise. Seizing on the disruption, Malthaes cast a bolt of fel flame at the girl. She turned and held up her hands, dodging the brunt but still wreathed in fire. He snarled, ready to cast again, and –

A garrote wire slipped over his head and around his neck, choking him. At the same time, a cudgel knocked him at his knees, taking away his balance. He fell to one knee, gasping for air, the wire digging into his neck. He chanted and the wire disappeared into a burst of flame and faded to ash. Singed, recovering from the surprise attack, he chanted again, a dark rune appearing underneath the Stone Drake’s feet.

“Stop him from casting!” he cried, and one of his surprise attackers kneed him across the face. The chant ended immediately – Malthaes’s head snapped to the right, blood filling his mouth. His face throbbed, and he looked up to see the paladin girl holding a sword to his head. Behind him were two rogues, one with a cudgel to his knee and a vice like grip on the back of his neck. The other, the one with the garrote wire, stood over him.

To his right a Tauren druid appeared, shifting out of bird form.

“What is going on here?” the druid asked, bewildered.

“Another example of Alliance treachery,” Malthaes said, blood coming from the side of his mouth.

“He came out of there,” the girl replied, her eyes watering from the fel flames that she put out. She looked burned, her eyes injured from the attack. Or perhaps just irritated.

Malthaes took stock of his attackers. He recognized the tabard the girl was wearing – members of the Terra Incognita. With a sigh he realized his folly. Seradane was close to their base of operations in Aerie Peak. He knew about them by proxy of the Modas, as he never had any direct dealings with them before. But something looked familiar about them. As they talked above him, holding him to the ground, he realized that he had seen them before, in the mind of the worgen druid that invaded his flat in Silvermoon. The girl was named Erelyn, yes. The Stone Drake, presumably their leader, was Lahkin. One of the rogues, the one with the garrote wire, was Kordrion. The second rogue he was unfamiliar with, though he thought he caught the name Arl. The druid, obviously unaffiliated with an Alliance group – what was the druid’s name? Maybe the tauren said Duskie, something like that.

Though Horde, Duskie had no qualms with expressing outrage that a warlock came through the Emerald Dream.

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85 Blood Elf Warlock
“What was he doing in there?” Duskie yelled, obviously outraged.

“That’s what we want to know,” Erelyn responded back. She held the sword to his face.

“I had an errand to run,” Malthaes said smoothly.

“You could have done considerable damage!” Duskie yelled. “There’s a reason not anyone is allowed in there!”

“Not as much damage as the Nightmare, I would say,” Malthaes said, chuckling.

“Of course not! But you could have disrupted the balance!”

“What were you doing in there?” Erelyn repeated, the sword nicking his face. He presumed she thought that he would seek to avoid pain. A natural response, but for a warlock pain is part of the price of power. Most Fel and Void spells had a steep cost, often pain and blood letting, as a price of their considerable power. It was a cost and a balance. To truly wield those powers, one must be willing to take that test, and pass. Bloodletting would get them nothing, and only allow him to gather strength. He winced, though, playing along.

“I merely wished to visit the Dream,” he said. “Such a beautiful place.”

The grip on the back of his neck got tighter.

“I suggest you answer the question,” Erelyn said.

“At least you’re not commanding me,” Malthaes said evenly. “Seems you are able to learn.”

He saw a newcomer walking up the stone ramp – a Draenei with a ghoul minion. Instant hatred boiled in Malthaes’s chest.

“Kaellar,” Lahkin said to him, nodding.

“What’s going on here?” Kaellar asked smoothly, looking at the group.

“A Draenei,” Malthaes seethed. “It wouldn’t be a complete Alliance travesty without these meddling, insignificant pests among them.”

Kordrion pressed the edge of a blade to his neck.

“That’s enough,” he said.

“No matter,” Kaellar said, looking down at Malthaes without the slightest interest. “Just seemed a lot of effort for a scrawny elf.” He lifted Malthaes’s chin with the edge of his hoof.

“Touch me again with your dirty hoof and I’ll make sure you burn just like your friends at the Azure Watch,” Malthaes snapped.

“Anyways,” Kaellar said, looking at Lahkin. “The War Council will happen soon.”
“Oh right,” Lahkin said. He turned to Kordrion. “Keep the elf subdued. We’ll tell them we have a Modas in our custody.” Without another word, Lahkin and Kaellar disappeared.

Malthaes raged, staring at the ground. They dare call him elf? Treat him with the same contempt that the Alliance treated his people with when they cast them into the dungeons of Dalaran as traitors, leaving them to die? It burned him, hatred welling in his chest that he was on his knees to these Alliance mongrels.

“What’s this?” Kordrion asked, taking out the second jar of Nightmare. Malthaes’s heart beat against his chest. He couldn’t give away how important it was, but at the same time he realized with horror that they had leverage on him.

“A jar,” he said simply, a calm in his face belying the panic threatening to overwhelm him. He tried to sense that Piztal was getting close, but the imp was either still traveling through the Nether or simply too far away.

“Obviously,” Kordrion said. He took the knife away from the elf’s body, cutting him as he did. More pain, more blood, and hopefully more power. He instead turned to Duskie. “Do you know?”

“I can’t smell anything obvious from it,” the druid said. “Except for arcane. It must be enchanted.”

“What’s in the jar?” Erelyn asked, the sword still pointed at him.

“This and that,” Malthaes hissed back.

“Maybe we should open it,” Kordrion asked.

“Do not open it,” Malthaes said quickly. What the Nightmare would do unattended and with these buffoons in control of the situation, he did not know. He also did not care to find out.

“Perhaps I should take it to the Archdruid in Moonglade,” Duskie said. “It’s clearly of Emerald origin. He would know what to do. We may also wish to keep this one imprisoned, to get the information that we need.”

“We can keep him subdued until we have him in full custody,” Erelyn said, nodding.

Malthaes looked up at Erelyn, calculating his situation. Outnumbered and wounded, it would be difficult for him to overpower all four of them. The two rogues were quick, adept at striking with efficiency, and he did not have the power required to really subdue them, particularly in his situation. If Piztal was closer he could draw on the demon’s power, but the imp was still not back. And though they had no compunctions towards giving him a few slices and bruises, they would not torture him to the point where he could draw on that kind of pain and blood sacrifice to really do damage. He needed to even the playing field, or he’d languish in the prisons of the Alliance. The Modas were many things, but they were not sympathetic to those caught by the enemy.
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85 Blood Elf Warlock
“A wise decision Erelyn,” Malthaes said. At the very mention of her name, she hissed. Kordrion, despite himself, looked at Erelyn with curiosity. Even Arl, his face mostly impassive, turned to Erelyn.

“How?” she breathed, staring at him.

“Perhaps you should put the jar in a bag, to avoid direct contact,” Duskie said to Kordrion.

“Be careful not to open it,” Kordrion warned the druid.

“Keep the elf in custody until we can get him to the Archdruid,” Duskie said again.

“Safe, sure,” Kordrion shrugged. “But there are accidents, you know.”

“Accidents surely do happen, Kordrion,” Malthaes said gravely, dropping the rogue’s name. Kordrion did not let on any surprise.

“So what, you know our names. You want a cookie? You’ve obviously heard of us before.”

“Oh I’m sure you and your deeds are well renowned,” Malthaes said, a smooth smile on his face made more gruesome by the steady flow of blood from his mouth. “I just wish to express how much I lament accidents. Tell me, dear sweet Erelyn, how goes that druid friend of yours? I believe he fell victim to an accident of his own.”

The words carried the weight of a thunderbolt. Malthaes watched the girl’s expression turn into a rapidly growing frenzy. He knew, from just the small incursion into the druid’s mind, how important the girl was to him, and he to her. Like father and son. And Kordrion, the one with the dagger that ever pierced his skin, was an ally and, possibly, a friend to the druid as well. If there was one thing he knew he could use against these kinds of people, these people with connections and morals – they could not suppress their love deep enough for it to remain hidden from enemies. Malthaes knew he found the right button to press, because Arl squeezed his hands into the warlock’s neck to get him to shut up.

“You know what happened to Finn?” she breathed. It occurred to him that she probably hadn’t contacted the druid in quite some time. Being a feral monster incapable of communication would do that. He smiled to her.

“Finn? That is the meddler’s name. It was impolite of me to not get his name. Almost as impolite as it was for him to sneak into my flat and attack me there. I do regret not getting his name from him, but you see, it was hard to ask him after I set him on fire.”

Arl twisted the elf’s arm, nearly snapping the bone. Erelyn snarled, holding the sword aloft, her body shaking with fury.

“I…will…kill you…” she breathed, barely containing her fury. Malthaes looked up at her, laughing.

“You snarled just like him! Oh yes, he turned into a worgen and he snarled and snarled trying to kill me. And so I did him a favor. I made the change permanent, so that he could be the filthy beast that he deserved to be.”

Erelyn raised the sword, screaming with fury. She made to lop the elf’s head off, but Duskie turned into a bear, roaring and knocking Erelyn down, the sword flying out of her hands. Arl let go of Malthaes and rushed over to Erelyn, while Kordrion turned into a Stone Drake – a trick they must teach liberally at the Aerie Peak he mused – and pinned him to the stone so hard that his head smacked off of the ground.

“You cannot kill him! We need to know what he was doing in the dream! He cannot answer if he’s dead!” Duskie yelled, switching back to the guise of a Tauren. Malthaes could not help but laugh, watching the girl search for her sword, her eyes still wounded by the Fel Flame.

“I’ll keep him subdued,” Kordrion growled, pressing Malthaes into the stone.

“Perhaps you should subdue her!” Malthaes said, his voice filled with maniacal glee. “No wonder she and the druid get along so very well. She’s a beast, just like is. Perhaps I can make her into a worgen as well, so he can have her as the filthy !@#$% of a pup that he thinks her to be.”

Erelyn raged, struggling against Arl who restrained her. Her nails reached his face, scratching him and drawing blood. He savored the pain, the warm feeling of the blood sliding down his skin.

“Eri,” Kord said, his voice laden with sympathy.

“I’ll get this to Moonglade,” the druid said softly, giving Erelyn a look of sadness before flying off into the sky. Down to three, but he also lost half of his prize from the Nightmare. He would have to worry about that later – he needed to escape.

“Where is my sword!” she raged. “I want to cut off his ears!”

“But how will I hear your howls when you’re finally reunited with your mongrel friend?” Malthaes said. Kordrion pressed him to the ground harder. He looked down and saw that the blood coming out of his mouth was black.

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85 Blood Elf Warlock
“That’s curious,” Malthaes said, interested and yet disturbed at the change in color of his blood. He suspected it had something to do with his extended exposure to the Nightmare, but he didn’t know.

“Why is your blood black?” Kordrion growled.

“A good question,” Malthaes responded. He moved to say more, but then he felt it. Piztal was in the Hinterlands. He was close.

After settling Erelyn, Arl leaned forward and began to bind Malthaes’s hands.

“You’ll come with us until you we get the information we need from you,” Kordrion said. Malthaes didn’t answer. He could feel Piztal close, and he began to gather power from him. He just needed a bit more to really do some damage –

Erelyn snapped, her eyes wild, and she stole the dagger from Arl and made to sink it straight into Malthaes’s back. Arl turned, just in time, trying to deflect the dagger. She missed her mark and sank it hilt deep into his arm. He felt the violent flare of agony, as well as a crippling poison seeping in from the blade. But it would be enough. Arl moved Erelyn away, and then turned towards the elf.

“Do not move,” he said in a low voice.

“Try not to move when I do this,” Malthaes hissed. He chanted, and the air around him turned into a violent inferno of fel flame. The flames crackled and sparked when they burnt Arlston’s hands, Erelyn, burning the hand of the Stone Drake so fiercely that Kordrion was forced backwards. He stood, the ropes around his hands dissolving into ash. Arlston ran forward, daggers withdrawn, but Malthaes hurled a bolt of shadow at him, blasting him down the stone ramp. He reached up and took the dagger out of his arm and threw it to the ground. The poison was spreading rapidly through his body. He didn’t have much time.

“Unfortunately I must go,” he said. Erelyn grabbed the dagger – she rushed forward, snarling, swinging it down in a violent arch –

Piztal hooked his fingers into Malthaes’s robes, and with a crack of purple and the smell of brimstone, they disappeared into the Nether.

((Reconstructed from memory so I may have missed some. Special thanks to Lahkin, Kaellar, Erelyn, Kordrion, Arlston, and is it Duskie? May have gotten the name wrong. Good stuff!))
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85 Blood Elf Warlock
Blood crept from his wounds, finally back to its natural red color. His eyes drifted over to the two floating crystals in the middle of the room – one containing the drained Light from the Presidium paladin, and the other holding the essence of the Nightmare he took from the Dream. His other jar was lost to Tauren druid and the meddling of the Terra Incognita. Perhaps that was a good thing, however – the Nightmare in the suspended crystal had been much more powerful than Malthaes calculated. Aside from swirling in an insidious black cloud in the crystal, it spoke to him, whispered things.

You let them take half of what you came for.

The thought suspended in his mind. To his right his imp chattered, watching him with impatient eyes. The poison made him slow, sluggish. He should have lit every single Terran on fire and watched their skins bubble and burn. Or perhaps he should have taken one with him through the Nether and drained them slowly while they begged for release. The desire for revenge burned within him.

You still have enough to do what is required.

Perhaps. Perhaps he did have enough. After all, he didn’t realize the potency of the Nightmare. He did not know that, despite all the protective enchantments in the jar, it could still reach his mind. It was a matter of ratios, strictly speaking. But lying on the ground, waiting for the poison to run its course, he wondered if he could wield it in such a way to avoid his own destruction.

One does not aim to blot out the Sun if one believes one cannot reach it.

That, Malthaes mused, was true wisdom. He had the ambition to seize whatever power was necessary. Wasn’t that the point? That the Blood Elves simply accepted the Sunwell’s rebirth at the Draenei’s terms, rather than define their own? Why settle for the Light? Why should they be denied any power that they deemed fit to wield? The Light made people weak, soft. The Blood Elves, nor Malthaes himself, would never be soft.

But the spark of the Naaru, Malthaes thought. He still didn’t have it. It was the crucial component, the focal point on which his whole plan balanced. He estimated that the girl would go to any lengths to get her Light back. And yet, the last time he gazed through her eyes, she wept in Hearthglen. Perhaps he overestimated her. Took the wrong target.

See to it that she does it.

His eye twitched. Of course. He would make her do it. And soon. He could no longer play the long game. First this Finn from the Presidium crashed his Silvermoon flat. Then the Terra Incognita interfered at the Hinterlands. Keeping his mission low-key looked to be impossible, now.

Fire burned along his veins, his mind slowing from the Terran rogue’s poison. But on the other side of this suffering was a simple matter of doing what needed to be done. Once he had the Naaru’s spark, the rest would fall into place. He would drain the Light out of the spark and create a Void spark. He would use the Nightmare to destroy the Sunwell. And with his Void Spark he would rebirth a new font of power, one of a Blood Elf’s creation, a vast pool of potent Void energy that his people could draw from. That the Modas could draw from. That he could draw from. The Alliance would crumble in the wake of the growing shadow, with the Blood Elves riding at the front of it like the teeth of a gaping maw swallowing them whole. It would be the dying of the Light, with Malthaes delivering a single, deathly blow.

He twitched, the pain and poison reaching its apex. Relishing the temporary setback, he looked over at the crystals again. The Nightmare swirled, appeased with this plan. And the Light in the next crystal, only feet away from the Nightmare, dimmed and winked out. The Nightmare swirled, while the other crystal now looked empty.

Tasting blood, the dungeon devoid of light, Malthaes smiled up into the darkness.
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90 Blood Elf Warrior
((Wow. Mal, incredible work, and amazing villain-writing. Awesome work, everyone else, as well! I'm really enjoying reading all of this.))
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90 Worgen Druid
The surface of the lake glittered. Finn stood at the edge of the water, his feet in the fresh, pure green grass, and he took a deep breath. The warm air smelled of spring and flowers. He stood alone in the glade, taking in the natural calm. He stepped into the lake. The cool water washed over his feet, and he sighed. He could stay here forever. He looked down, expecting to see his face reflected off of the surface. Instead he saw the face of a worgen, and he let out a howl of surprise. That wasn’t him, it couldn’t be, it –

He saw the girl through the crowd. She sobbed, looking around amidst all the chaos with terror in her gaze. Blood covered the front of her nightgown. He rushed forward, avoiding the surging crowd, and grabbed her hand.

“I’ll get you out of here,” he said to her.

“My mother,” the girl wailed. Finn looked at the blood on the girl’s nightgown, and grimly thought that the blood would be the last trace of her mother they’d find.

“We’ll get to safety first, then we’ll worry about her, ok?” Finn said, trying his best to be soothing. The girl nodded, terrified. He took her hands, and together they raced after the crowd.

The nearby buildings blazed with fire, an ill-conceived attempt to drive away the worgen that rampaged through the streets. They ran down the cobblestone. Just ahead they saw the crowd, when a shadow landed in front of them, snarling and snapping its jaws. The girl screamed with terror, losing her mind and running in the opposite direction.

“No!” Finn yelled, but it was too late – another shadow dropped behind them, and the girl ran straight into the second worgen’s arms. The air filled with the sounds of screaming and tearing flesh. Finn raised his pistol, the shot rang out, and the bullet went straight through the worgen’s head. Both it and the bleeding body of the girl dropped to the stone. He spun, hearing the snarling, but then he felt the burning sensation of the beast’s maw locked on his shoulder and the tearing of its claws across his back. He wrested free, raised the pistol to the beast’s jaw, and pulled the trigger. The explosive sound of the gun went off, and the beast dropped. Finn staggered into the wall of a nearby house, blood gushing out of his shoulder. A panicked desperation ballooned in his chest. He was bitten. He leaned his head back, and it rested against the wall. There was nothing he could do now. He closed his eyes, thinking of his daughter and his wife, both long deceased, early victims of the worgen before they overran Gilneas. He pictured them both, raised the pistol, and put it to his temple.

“I will not be a mindless beast,” he said. He pulled the trigger.

A light breeze stirred him to his senses. He was standing in the middle of a dark forest. Thin bands of moonlight sporadically broke through the dense foliage and reached the forest floor. He walked slowly. Leaves crunched under his feet as he moved forward. A creeping sensation tickled the back of his neck. He was being tracked. His alertness made him acutely aware of his own heartbeat, his breathing. He needed to calm down, to remain focused. Controlled.

A twig snapped behind him. He spun, just in time to see a dark shape pass through one of the narrow beams of moonlight. It disappeared before he could get a good look. He looked around for something to defend himself with. Another twig snapped, and he turned. The dark shadow barreled towards him, snarling, and then leapt. He got a quick glimpse of fur and the smell of blood, and the beast knocked him to the ground. Out of breath and terrified, Finn spun on the ground and saw the worgen whirl about, standing tall and bathed in moonlight. Every inch of its brutish, monstrous frame was outlined in the silver glow of the moon. It bared its teeth. And Finn stood, unable to defend himself.

“Let’s get this over with,” Finn said, staring at the worgen.

But it did not move.

The Night Elven ship rocked gently with the waves. Finn sat in the hold, his fingers tracing the golden locket his father had given him. He turned his thoughts towards Gilneas, the city in complete ruin. At the moment the Forsaken probably crawled over the ruins like cockroaches claiming their prize. The thought rankled him, adding another layer of rage onto that which already burned inside him.

“It is a beautiful trinket.” Finn looked up and saw a Night Elf looking down at him.

“A reminder of times since passed,” Finn said, and he stowed it away.

“Perhaps also a reminder of what you can hope to reclaim,” the Night Elf offered.

“Perhaps,” Finn said, irritated with the Night Elf for talking to him. But old customs died hard, and he could not bring himself to be rude and dismiss him.

“You are worgen, I presume?” the Night Elf said, a statement of fact.

“I am Gilnean,” Finn said, correcting him.
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90 Worgen Druid
“One and the same now, surely?” The Night Elf responded, a trace of humor on his face.

“Not to me,” Finn responded back. “Can I help you?”

“I am not making light of your current situation,” the Night Elf replied back to him. “I am Tendarian Sagegrove.”

“Finnaeus Peverley.”

“I sense in you a druidic nature.”

“I’m a good farmer, if that’s what you mean,” Finn said, looking at him squarely.

“I forget that your people are quite new to all of this,” Tendarion replied, chuckling. “A druid is uniquely attuned to nature, the balance, the wild. I sense in you such a connection. Undoubtedly that is what makes you excel as a farmer.”

“Indeed,” Finn said. He couldn’t feign interest. His mind turned back to his family, his homeland. His heart burned with rage again.

“You may be adept at the restorative arts in that case,” Tendarion said. “But I believe you would be quite adept at learning the wild aspects to druidism. The feral aspects.”

Finn looked at him, meeting the Night Elf’s gaze squarely in the eyes.

“I am no beast,” he said, more angry than he intended it. And if he hadn’t run out of bullets back in Gilneas, he wouldn’t have had to deal with this druid.

“No indeed,” Tendarion said. “But at the very least it may help to channel some of the rage that you have burning within you so that you do not disrupt your own balance.”

“Perhaps,” Finn said.

“When we get to Darnassus, and you wish to seek this training out, come to me. But whether or not you do, know this. You cannot deny what you are. Eventually it will catch up to you.”

Without another word, the druid got up and left him. Finn watched him go.

I am no beast, he thought.

Finn watched the worgen. Every breath it took sounded like a growl. Finn took a step forward.

“Come now, take your prize!” he shouted. “You’ve been hunting me. Come on, take me!”

The worgen did not move. It tilted its head in a curious expression.

“What are you waiting for?” Finn breathed, balling his fists. He took another step forward. “I’m right here.”
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90 Worgen Druid
The worgen lowered its head, meeting Finn’s gaze. It sniffed the air, flexing its claws. It lowered itself onto all fours. It moved forward, disappearing into the darkness. After a moment, a wolf appeared in the moonlight. It had the same eyes, the same fur color. It approached him, and confusion set in. They were feet apart. Finn dropped to one knee, looking the beast straight in the eye. It was then that he saw –

“Your curse is nothing to us,” Gentyl said to a despondent Finn, lost in Northrend with no purpose. “You can do good things in the Presidium. You do not need to be alone.”

And then –

Finn walking with Erelyn in Duskwood, at the base of one of the Great Trees.

“What if I have darkness in me?” Erelyn said.

“Acknowledge it, own it,” Finn said to her. “But then have the strength to stand beyond it as well.”

It was good advice, but entirely hypocritical. Hadn’t she noticed it then?

“And what about you? Your darkness? I never see you in your worgen form.”

How could he explain to her that the worgen represented everything that he lost? The agents of his family’s demise, the destruction of his homeland. How could he answer it?

Honestly. But he didn’t. He shied away from it, and instead he gave her a roundabout answer. She was disappointed in it, but she knew he wasn’t being truthful. After all, how could he convince her of a truth he didn’t believe himself.

Finn looked at the wolf. It wasn’t fear that gripped him, but a reluctance to move forward. He came along way, siding with the Presidium. But letting go of the past wasn’t enough. He had to come to terms with what he was. There was no moving forward without truly acknowledging that he was worgen. But that didn’t mean he had to let go of all that he cared about.

He closed his eyes, heart beating frantically. He held out his hand, and he felt the wolf’s muzzle in his palm. It was no different than becoming a cat, or a bear, or a tree. It was another aspect of the wild, one that was in him, that he would have to learn to embrace rather than bury. Burying the beast would only turn it more wild when he turned to it in times of need, allowing his enemies to use it against him.

He clenched his hands in the wolf’s fur, and he felt the wolf licking his face, his neck. He trusted the beast not to bite, to kill. And in turn he stroked the fur.

“I’m ready,” Finn said. He opened his eyes.

He was in the basement of the keep. He felt as if he had been asleep for quite some time. Despite the dark he could see. He could sense the wards placed on the basement, designed to keep him in should he turn feral. He looked down at his hands and saw the worgen talons. Instinct caused him to wince in horror, but then he mastered the impulse. His mind was intact. He breathed.

With a flash he was back in his human form. Someone had found his belongings and placed them on a small table. Whoever it was even managed to find his hearthstone. He reached for it. His heart beating nervously, he gripped it in his hands.

“I’m ready,” he said again. His hand stopped shaking.
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94 Troll Warlock
(( It's just occurred to me, but should modas expect an envoy of pissed off druids from Moonglade anytime soon, after Mal? :P (not that they have any extra reason to hate us - years ago, we levelled Moonglade, and in the process became hated by cenarion circle...which wasn't so smart, because a little bit later, AQ was released and Dree would be attacked on sight by druids :P good times, good times. ))
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85 Tauren Druid
03/19/2012 02:50 PMPosted by Dreejin
(( It's just occurred to me, but should modas expect an envoy of pissed off druids from Moonglade anytime soon, after Mal? :P (not that they have any extra reason to hate us - years ago, we levelled Moonglade, and in the process became hated by cenarion circle...which wasn't so smart, because a little bit later, AQ was released and Dree would be attacked on sight by druids :P good times, good times. ))

((yeah, lemme catch up with ya'll in game and oocly go over how po'd they should be, after all this is ya'll story, I'm just a messenger :D should be on tonight work permitting ))
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